Author: EDWARD FOTHERINGILL
Author: Edward Fotheringill
Published books by the Author: Lanterns in the Mist
Books in Process: Darkness Withdrawn or The Eclipse of Nietzsche’s Shadow
1. When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing about nine years ago, just for the fun of it. I had an idea for a short story. After twelve pages or so, I liked where it was going and decided to continue on. I worked on the manuscript, sporadically, for about seven years. Then, I got more serious and finished it up.
What drove me to write was simple: I felt like I had something to say. As a philosophy professor for nearly 24 years, I had thought through every philosophical problem imaginable. What I wanted to do was make these sometimes difficult philosophical issues accessible to readers of fiction. I wanted to work through philosophical problems using fictional characters in their day-to-day lives. My hope was to write something that would carry some measure of truth and, at the same time, be interesting and provocative.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
As I mentioned earlier, I began writing just for the fun of it. I never had any intention of publishing anything. But as my story developed, and my characters came alive, I began to take the writing more seriously. I really enjoy creating interesting characters and seeing what kinds of bizarre situations I can get them in and out of.
3. How did you approach writing your first book?
Looking back on it, my writing technique seems somewhat strange -- at least to me. I had a very general idea for an initial scene, wrote it out, and then I just let the characters take over. I had no plan at all about where the story line was going. The only intention I had from the beginning was to make my characters grotesque, in the sense of being strange and quirky and hopefully memorable. I can honestly say the book wrote itself.
4. Who or what influenced your writing?
In recent years, I have become enthralled with four novelists: Graham Greene, Walker Percy, John Gardner, and Cormac McCarthy. These are the writers that speak to me. Looking back on my novel, I can see the influence of all of them. But, descriptively, I would have to say my novel reads like Walker Percy meets Cormac McCarthy.
5. Why do you continue to write?
What can I say? I’m into creativity, and I like working by myself. Writing fits the bill. On a more serious note, I find the life we lead and the world we find ourselves in to be very strange and indecipherable. Joy mixes with suffering in inscrutable ways, and there often seems to be no rhyme or reason to any of it. When I write, I like to explore the possibilities of different ways of living through my characters. I’m hoping to stimulate my audience to think about these possibilities, and maybe even act on them.
6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
First, I want to write an interesting story. Something with unexpected twists and turns. Second, I want to deliver some philosophical message that will stimulate the reader to ponder the meaning of his or her own life. Finally, I want the writing to be lyrical. I try to create scenes and characters and dialogue with combinations of words that are pleasant to the ear.
7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
So far, it has been a pleasant one. Responses to my book have been largely positive. And the local bookstores have, for the most part, been receptive to book signings.
8. How do you promote your book?
The first thing I did was send a copy to you, Kaye. You were the first person in the book industry to read it. I’m extremely grateful to you for your kind words. I will be sending the book off to other reviewers, as well.
On the local front, I’ve approached some of the large chain bookstores (Borders, Barnes and Nobles, etc.) and some independent shops as well. So far, I’ve been received warmly – and have been offered the opportunity for a few book signings.
I’m also planning to contact a local literary club to see if they may have some interest in exploring what I’ve written.
And, of course, word of mouth.
9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
Oh, nothing special. I think if a writer really has something to say, he or she will find a way of getting it out there.
10. Any other comments you would like to add?
No, I think I’m finished pontificating.
Thank you, Ed, for sharing your time and experience with us.
Interview by Kaye Trout - April 28, 2006 - Copyright